Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Best New TV Show of 2012: 'Elementary'

The best television show of 2012 for me is easily “The Walking Dead.” The AMC zombie/apocalypse thriller manages to mix in a fair amount of any number of genres without ever coming across played out. That being said, the show is not necessarily for everyone. Let’s face it, when it comes to gore, terror, and the end of the world, some folks just don’t get into it.
However the best new show of 2012 is a bit more interesting. While I think “Revolution” on NBC is pretty good, it has a bit in common with another of my favorite NBC shows “Heroes.” There are a few story holes that will need to be addressed moving forward, but all in all, the show is entertaining and the mythology is intriguing.

Still if I had to sit down and decide what the best new television show of 2012 was, I would go with “Elementary.” The CBS reboot of the adventures Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson brings the duo to New York City. Jonny Lee Miller is fabulous as Holmes, but casting Lucy Liu as Joan Watson is turning out to be simply brilliant.

Just like early episodes of “The Mentalist,” Holmes uses his fine eye for detail to solve grisly murders. Watson is a sober companion meant to help the police consultant (really how many police consultants are on TV these days?) adjust to normal life. Miller puts Holmes on center stage with every episode revealing a little more than the last about the character. The show has a classic vibe but also offers up a twist on murders. Really after so many episodes of “CSI,” “Castle,” “Bones,” “The Mentalist,” and more (and that is just fairly current television shows) writers have to stretch the boundaries to come up with new ways to surprise viewers. “Elementary” manages to do that.

The show has a few great supporting characters, like many top notch shows do. It differentiates itself from the pack by removing romantic tension between the leads. While “Castle” and “Bones” are struggling to find storylines to further the relationship of the characters, “Elementary” uses a professional relationship to keep Holmes and Watson together. The whole addict and sober companion experience is new (or at least newer) for television, which is important since Sherlock Holmes and his abilities are not exactly ground breaking.

The downside of the show is that it is on CBS, which means no Hulu Plus viewership (at least not yet). Therefore anyone with trouble staying awake at the 10pm timeslot on Thursday night had better set the DVR, because this is one show that deserves a chance.

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